Landing a cyber job as tech evolves

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Facebook, the most popular social media site worldwide, boasts 1.5 billion daily active users. Yet it wasn’t so long ago that you needed a college ID to sign up. Forty-one percent of American households are cell phone only and the desktop PC has been replaced by a mobile revolution of smart phones and tablets and laptops.

We’ve become accustomed to reading and watching current events online; we book restaurants, theater tickets, hotels and car service with mobile apps. Online shopping, including popular auction and lifestyle sites and traditional retailers, was competitive with brick-and-mortar stores during the Black Friday weekend for the first time last year.

Yes, technology has changed just about every aspect of life, from dating to working to how we spend our leisure hours. Behind all of this change, though, are innovators and information technology workers who operate largely “behind the curtain,” creating infrastructures, designing software, overseeing IT, developing websites and ensuring e-commerce traffic moves smoothly.

And the work pays well, with many of the most common tech jobs commanding six-figure salaries. Currently tech innovators are predominantly young and male and largely white or Asian, but the sector is aiming to increase diversity. Young people who would like to join the boom need skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), but an article in The New York Times claims that good people skills are still paramount. In How the Modern Workplace Has Become More Like Preschool, Harvard professor of education and economics David Deming claims that preschool classrooms look a lot like the modern work world, with children moving amongst designated areas for play, art and learning; the most prized skills are “sharing and negotiating with others,” which is a skill set in demand in the tech-driven workplace.

So what are some of those in-demand tech jobs?

IT officer
Every workplace has an IT office, responsible for ensuring your organization’s website operates flawlessly and your email lands in the inbox of your intended recipient. When new software is introduced, the office will generally arrange training for staff. They’re also the ones to call when the network crashes. Their jobs are indispensable because the modern workplace often slows to a standstill without access to the Internet.

Software developer
According to Business Insider, industries such as automotive, retail, finance and accounting are all particularly hot areas for IT pros and programmers. The software developer is responsible for all aspects of new software from coding to design. Examples of such software are antivirus systems, which are essential for all networked computers. According to US News & World Report, software designers fall into two camps: application developers, who design computer software and databases; and systems-focused developers who build operating systems, such as Linux or iOS. The Department of Labor projects there will be nearly 140,000 positions created before 2022.

Storage architect
As more of our data is stored electronically, especially in “the cloud,” there is need for people who can design and maintain storage structures.

App designer
Every tech-savvy high-school and college kid dreams of inventing the next indispensable app. Today there’s an app for everything from banking to dating to finding a ride. Apple and other technology giants have huge app stores, adding new ones all the time.

Corporate network designer
People who conceptualize, build, maintain and secure computer networks are in high demand today, especially in light of the threat of viruses and hackers.

E-commerce designers
These experts provide the “backstory” to the beautiful e-commerce websites run by brick-and-mortar businesses and online-only sites alike. These designers ensure the shopping experience is hassle free, from saving items in electronic shopping carts to securing payment information.

Internet security
This sector is growing in importance globally in light of threats from viruses, hackers and spies. The job of chief security officer is also growing in demand and prestige, according to Business Insider.

E-Commerce entrepreneur
Forbes Magazine predicts e-commerce will soon top $1 trillion a year, so it can be an inviting career for an enterprising entrepreneur. If you, like I am, are an avid devourer of lifestyle sites such as One Kings Lane and Houzz, this job may seem glamourous, but it takes grit and hard work. You first need a product, a presentation and a means of marketing before hearing the cha-ching. Khuram Dhanani, whom Forbes describes as one of the most driven e-commerce entrepreneurs, began as a teen by simply taking photos of the jewelry his family designed, writing a description and selling on Yahoo auctions.

Website developer
Now here’s an opportunity for the combo tech nerd and creative artist. The website developer creates the look and feel as well as navigability of the websites we love to peruse.

If a six-figure salary and bonuses, working as a team and using your STEM skills sound good to you, these and many other tech jobs appearing every day, it seems, may be your tech ticket to career security. HLM

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